As you begin working on your ceremony, do you find yourself thinking about the wedding program? What goes on a program? How much detail do you put in one? The names of the readings? Do you put the text of anything that anyone’s saying, like readings of prayers, or is that too much? What other kinds of things do you put in one?
That is a lot to consider for a tiny piece of paper or two that may be looked at for no longer than an hour. To be honest, that thought never crossed my mind for my own wedding. I was more concerned about the food. We didn’t have a church wedding nor did we invite a long list of people, so I didn’t feel it necessary.
Which begs the question, is the ceremony program necessary? If you ask me, no not everyone needs them, and it’s certainly an expense you can skip.
If you are still worried about keeping guests informed with the events of your special day consider making a poster board (or chalk board) with your ceremony details that includes section titles: Introduction, reading 1, parental blessing, etc. Personalize it for whatever you and your future spouse will be incorporating into the day.
Does skipping the program not feel right to you? Keep it! Include a surprising, sweet touch with a heartfelt note of thanks from you and your fiance on the back. It sets a personal tone even before you get to see most of your guests. Then keep the content fairly simple with the order of the ceremony including the lyrics to any songs that everyone will be singing and the wedding party, officiant, and musicians listed in the interior. Also try to include brief instructions for what will happen after the ceremony, especially if the reception is in a different location than the ceremony. Something like: “After the ceremony, we invite you to make your way to ‘X location’ for cocktails, dinner, and dancing.” Even if this is also on the invitation it doesn’t hurt to remind people about the next order of business.